Happy New Year!
Now that 2016 has arrived, I usually take this time (like a lot of other people) to reflect on the past year. It had a lot of ups and downs and troubling times, especially with Rosie (my car) and her seemingly constant tire care. Sometimes, I sit back and wonder how I survived it all.
For the past two years, I made a list for the goals/plans of things I'd like to do or accomplish throughout the year. Here is a list of the things I have done:
-Traveled to a new city
-Enter writing contests
-Create/Use a 2015 good moments jar
-Update my stories on FF.Net more often
-Continue to eat healthier
-Become more spiritual
-Push myself out of my comfort zone
-Dye my hair
-Learn a new language
-Learn a new skill
-Explore Norfolk/Newport News
After going through my 2015 good moments jar, I found that I had stopped slipping in good moments after the first few months of the year; around April or so. I decided to do it again this year so I can really keep track of everything that's been going on.
As for my goals this year, normally one of them revolves around losing weight or keeping the weight off. That's usually what everyone's goal/plan for a year is and then they stop going to the gym or trying that new workout by around the middle of January. They do say that New Year's Resolutions are hard to keep. This year, though, I'm doing something different.
I'm not going to focus on my health or my weight, but have more of a focus on my wellness. Health and wellness go hand in hand, but I've had a pretty good grasp on my health. I eat pretty decently, and I don't restrict anything, I just slightly change my portion sizes. However, if you have sour patch kids or hot tamales near me, or even German chocolate cake, then this would be a whole different story.
Wellness is more of the idea of choices you make to have better health and a better lifestyle. I need to focus on myself more, and not worry about pleasing other people. The most important thing in my life should be myself. I always say I love helping people but I worry that one day it'll come back and bite me, which it has. Or, it had, in this case.
Anyone that follows me on Facebook, Twitter, or is in usual contact with me would know that I had faced the toughest time in the last few months. Both of my part time jobs had extended/holiday hours and I was stretched to the max. It's a given that in the world of retail you're going to have holiday hours. At my library job, I had taken on more hours around Sept/Oct because we were understaffed, and I would be going from working 19 1/2 hours a week to 29 1/2. I could easily handle that with working my retail job as well. Then, we were given the green light to work more hours through Jan because we'd still be understaffed until HR hired more people in the division/department I work in.
Honestly, I was skeptical at first, and worried how I'd be able to handle working extra hours at the library and at my retail job. I told my supervisor and she was kind of wondering the same thing as well, but slightly changed my schedule to give myself at least one guaranteed day from off from both jobs, because of the way my schedule fell in-between both. So, in a way, I agreed to take on the extra hours and I was also essentially told I was going to have to take them because of how understaffed we were. At the time, i didn't mind it because I love love love love love my library job, all the people i work with, and what I get to do everyday. Plus, i had wracked my sick hours so if I every needed a mental health day, I don't think my supervisor would have minded if I used some.
So, at this point, as the holiday/extended hours started at both of my jobs at the beginning of November, I was working about 50+ hours a week. I've worked a 40+ hour a week job before when I interned at HRA, but this was different.
Even though my two jobs are a block apart, I have to change my thought process to accommodate the two. My library job is more relaxed than my retail job, the two have different dress codes, one I have to get up early to work and the other (or sometimes both) I have to stay late to close. At my retail job I just help people and at my library job I have to enforce rules/policies and play games or entertain people at the same time. Both jobs I have great company with people I work with, but my retail job I felt was way more demanding than usual, even for a holiday season and I've worked the holiday season at my retail job the year prior. Sometimes I felt I was someone's main go to to person when something needed to be done, and while I like that people trust me to get things done, i quickly felt overwhelmed.
See, sometimes, I have a problem with saying no, especially when it comes to taking extra shifts at either of my jobs. Bottom line, I'll be earning more money. In most situations, though, I can say no easily because I know what i want, what i like, and what i feel comfortable with. While I do push myself out of my comfort zone from time to time, i can put my foot down when needed.
This winter/holiday season I felt like I was on the precipice of a mental breakdown. I was so stressed I would have constant headaches, I'd feel irritable all the time, and I was close to snapping at everyone for no apparent reason. I was very forgetful, somewhat sluggish, and every time I did something wrong at work, or something went wrong it felt like my world was going to end. I was getting less and less sleep, and not eating properly at all because my schedule was constantly changing. I almost lost it when I arrived at my library 30 mins late because I read my shift schedule wrong. My supervisor wasn't concerned about it at all, which confused me, but I guess since I'm usually 5 mins early for my shift and we were very very slow that day it wasn't such a big deal.
After talking to one of my co-workers at the library, I discovered meditation. I was pretty much at my wits end and was looking for a way to make my headaches disappear aside from taking ibuprofen from time to time. My co-worker knew I was having a hard time with everything, and I didn't even have to tell her. She could just see it in my face, the way I easily forgot things, or the way I acted and she's only known me since April. That's quite a feat, in my opinion, because I can hide things pretty well.
Meditation was really hard for me to get into at first because my mind constantly raced. Not only because I was working so much, but because I had a lot of writing ideas floating around my head, but that's a usual occurrence. I borrowed two mediation books from my co-worker and read each of them for an hour before i went to sleep, so 30 mins for each. When slowly starting it, i was a little bit skeptical, but still open minded. I mean, if it worked it worked and if it didn't it didn't.
Now, I try to meditate every day or every other day. My headaches where finally gone and I felt happy again, I felt like myself. Although, spending time around my family and my sisters during Christmas instantly put me in a better mood. I was happy just from knowing that I was heading home the minute I jumped into my car.
I've learned various techniques of meditation, where I can meditate for three minutes up to half an hour. It's nice to clear my head and just focus on nothing. Quite frankly, aside from writing down my new story ideas, I think it helps clear out all of those thoughts as well.
Now that the extended hours at one of my jobs is over, I feel like i can breathe again. Don't get me wrong, I'm kind of glad I was super busy. If i were stationary for too long I'd feel weird that I was alone during parts of the holidays since my sisters were already at home after finishing their semester of grad school. Don't get me wrong, I did go out and hang out with my co-workers and friends doing various activities like seeing movies and stuff, but when I'd be back at my apartment eating my super late, and light, dinner before heading to sleep is when it'd kick in.
After taking up mediation, I'm kind of leaning towards yoga, but I'm not too sure about that yet. I enjoy high energy, high action things like dancing and martial arts. I mean, where else but in martial arts can you punch something and not get into trouble for it? My co-worker who got me into meditation has told me about this retreat kind of place where it's all about yoga and meditation. I think I'd like to try it one day. She enjoys doing it. I think she's trying to get me into it so she can have a friend to do the activity as well. She's always so excited and willing to listen when I talk about having a slight interest in yoga. Maybe I should start with YouTube videos first.
The ending of 2015 was okay. Don't get me wrong, spending New Year's Eve with my sisters by going out to lunch/dinner and playing video games for the rest of the night was great. And yet, I was ready for 2015 to be over. I had a lot of setbacks the last few days of the year and I wanted to start anew. Now that I have my positive mindset back, I don't think of them as setbacks anymore. I see them as a set ups for a comeback.
2016 has started off great, so I'm hoping that it sets the tone for the next month and then eventually the rest of the year. I already can see good things coming (Circus Camp at the library, two of my sisters getting their Masters, hours at my library job slowly decline back to the regular 19 1/2 per week), so now that a positive change has occurred, I'm ready to see what is bound to happen.
Today at work, I was complimented on how patient I was with a customer. They were trying to use a $10 off coupon they received as a reward for collecting a lot of points from shopping in the store. We had to go through so many steps for her to complete her rewards profile (something you need to do before you can start getting your rewards, usually customers do this after initially signing up for the rewards program) that I ended up trying various different steps for her to get her coupon as well as typing things into her phone for her since I can type pretty quickly. You should actually see how wide people's eyes get when I breeze through typing in their info to sign them up for the rewards program.
I would think people's first impression of me is different than how I actually am. I can actually be shy from time to time, and I think I have the "resting bitch face" so people either assume I'm upset or something is wrong, or that I'm intimidating. This isn't the case, or at least, it's not the energy I want to put out into the world. Most cases, I'm just thinking about something very hard. After graduating high school, I've tried to adopt a more positive outlook to life and it's been very beneficial for me. I just have this drive to help people. I like helping people even if its as small as holding a door open. I'm just very perceptive and sometimes I can tell when someone needs to vent. I just want to put others before myself, even though I worry I will be burned in the end. Unfortunately this has happened numerous times, and yet, I still want to help people.
When I was younger, I strongly disliked being called sensitive. Growing up in a family with 5 siblings, with three of them being the same age as me, and looking exactly like me, it was hard for me to find where I fit, not just in my family, but in society. People would just call me "Jackson" or "Quad". Now, don't get me wrong, I love being a multiple, and I wouldn't imaging my life any other way. They're my best friends. I know it must be hard to remember whose name goes to who. Some have told me they were embarrassed that they couldn't tell us apart, but they tried. I always knew the difference with those who tried and those who didn't.
With not really knowing where I fit, I think i found myself just filled with a lot of different emotions. I was easily offended by something or upset by something and people would say, like clockwork: "Why are you so sensitive about everything?" or "Stop being so sensitive."
Unfortunately, I think that had affected me a lot. It's made me somewhat hard and some could see that as me being cold. I'm not that harsh of a person; however, if anyone messes with anyone in my life, I will be quick to knock them down a peg, so I guess there is a bit of a spin to it. Because of those comments, I don't cry that often. I hate to cry, i don't like how i feel after i cry, and sometimes I just feel like I'm weak after I do it. There has yet to be a movie where I cried while watching it. I do admit though, i did get misty eyed during Toy Story 3 and Inside Out. Also, who can keep a straight face when watching those videos on YouTube when those in the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, etc return home.
Now, i see being sensitive as a good thing. It means people can trust me with their problems, and that I will actively listen to them. It doesn't matter what my issues are at the moment, if someone needs to vent I'll give them my full attention. It may take a bit for someone to find out that side of me, but it's always been there, just buried a bit.
With the age of social media, everyone is posting pictures to Instamatic, Facebook, twitter, and tumblr. They show food, vacations, their pets, their favorite celebrities, their crushes, their achievements, and so on and so forth.
Since we are constantly updating our friends of where we're going in a month or what is happening at the end of the year, jealousy and envy can rear its ugly head and it comes from comparison. Comparison is the root of all evils and let me explain why: you're comparing your life to people's high points.
Let me dive into that a bit further: 20-something people post photos of going to parties be it game nights or alcohol based. They are showing these extravagant vacations with friends, family, or with their boyfriend or girlfriend. They are overall showing fun and amazing moments in their lives while you are sitting on the computer browsing it.
But that's the point. They are only showing you the good parts of their lives. You don't know if someone has a really bad fight with their boyfriend or girlfriend. You don't know if someone is having familial problems. You don't know if someone is having various personal problems.
Comparing your life to someone based on their internet persona will only lead to the demise of your joy. As real as you may be online, unless you give hints to how you're feeling at a certain point in time, everyone has an internet persona.
If you want to be happier, don' compare your like to one photo, just focus on the good things in your life at the moment. Sure, a friend may be taking a trip to Australia you have may have dreamt of going on, but you may be having the same great time enjoying relaxing at home with a friend.
Hello everyone! *~HAPPY NEW YEAR~*
I hope everyone said "Bunny, Bunny", "Rabbit, Rabbit, White Rabbit" or some variation of that when it became January 1st 2014. 2013 was a pretty good year for me! A lot of big things happened this year, and yes not so great things happened as well, but I'm not going to dwell on that.
A few years ago as a part of a goal I had when it became a new year, I told myself to become more positive. I have, and my life has changed for the better. So many great things have occurred and I could not be happier with how my life has turned out in the past few years.
I don't make New Year's resolutions because I know I will break them, so I make goals instead. Below is a list of most things (I can't remember everything) that happened in 2013 and my plans/goals for 2014. What are your plans/goals for 2014? What do you think I should add?
I want to be the first to wish you all a fantastic 2014.
What Happened in 2013:
-Released The Reined Groom
-Released Four of a Kind
-Met friends online who likes Nancy McKeon like me
-Obtained two internships
-Got to know my Aunt Kris better over Thanksgiving Break
-Got back in touch with an old friend from middle/high school
-Became a piano teacher
-Started a small (unofficial) crafting business
-Learned how to make paper cranes
-Received a free Spider Man poster
-Met a great guy
-Started learning ASL
-Got positive reviews for my novels
-Was featured in a newspaper article
Goals/Plans for 2014:
-Practice Tarot more
-Continue to think positively
-Use my roller skates more
-Walk the loop once a week
-Use my phone less
-Write in my journal at least once a week
-Write handwritten letters and send them
-Become more spiritual
-Release Cassie & Nikki
-Read an hour a day
-Write an hour a day
-Get rid of the toxins in my life
-Get a job/get a job after graduation/get my own place
-Find someone special
-Let go of a few choice memories from the past
-Slow down; stop and smell the roses
-Record and post more YouTube videos/Make a web series
-Make a wish box
-Eat at a new restaurant
-Watch a sunset
-Watch a sunrise
-Find and buy clow cards 1/2/2014
-Drink more water
-Make ice cream from scratch 1/22/2014
-Find a new creative outlet
I know, this one doesn't sound like it would be that hard, but you would be surprised. Growing up these days, it is actually a lot harder to make friends, especially for girls. They try so hard to fit in and be "cool" just to keep a friends attention.
Making a new friend can also be very nerve wracking. When striking up a conversation with someone new, you worry about saying the wrong thing or worry about saying something stupid. In other cases, you can just click immediately and then all of a sudden you act as if the new friend has been a part of your life for the longest time.
Or, you become friends with someone online. I know, red flags have been raised right? But trust me, having something in common with someone online can strike a friendship. In this past year I have become really good friends with 4 people: Amber, Stephanie, Shareka, and FOLFan (i can't spell or pronounce her first name so I went by her twitter handle).
I met Amber on tumblr. We started to follow each other after we found out that we both had an interest in writing letters to soldiers and cowboys. Over the years we would just end up checking in with each other to see how school and other things were going. When the big tornado hit Oklahoma I began to worry that she was affected. It wast then I realized that I really cared for her and her well being. Now, we message each other if we need to vent about something or to update each other with things going on in our lives.
Stephanie, Shareka and FOLFan I met through twitter and our mutual love of Nancy McKeon. For those of you who don't know who she is, Nancy McKeon played Jo Polniaczek on the Facts of Life and Jinny Exstead in the Division among various other acting credits. Things just clicked between the four of us. Shareka and I ended up making and running a Facebook Fan Page together for Nancy McKeon. We also made youtube channels and tumblr pages dedicated to her as well. We've all become so close that we now just check-in with each other to see how we're doing (and to also talk about Nancy).
So, this just shows that as hard as it is to make new friends, it can end up becoming a great experience. It doesn't matter if you meet them in person or online. Just reach out to someone who may seem lonely or needs someone to talk to. Or talk to someone who has at least one thing in common with you. You'll never know what the outcome will be.
"Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you." - Walt Whitman